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What in the heck are LEDs anyway? Part 4 Putting it all together

Ok – Deep breath…. That last post was getting long! 🙂 On to the good….

Let’s start toward the lower end of the visible spectrum that effects a positive change in our skin.


Depth of skin penetration for wavelengths of light

Blue LED penetrates through the epidermis and into the dermis of human skin. Blue LED is well known to treat acne. Let me explain….

Acne is often exacerbated by the presence of bacteria (particularly Propionibacterium acnes, and to a lesser extent P. granulosum) in the pilosebaceous follicles. These two species of bacteria are anaerobic (which means that they thrive in oxygen starved environments) and inhabit acne lesions, with P. granulosum colonization in acne lesions generally 100 times less dense than P. acnes. Residing mainly on the face and upper thorax, these bacteria grow in the lipid rich micro-environment of the pilosebaceous follicles, and produce inflammatory mediators called porphyrins that result in inflamed acne papules, pustules and cystic lesions.

Ok, cool, we know the role of the Propionibacterium sp. in causing acne, so, how does LED exposure help to treat these Propionibacterium sp colonizations? It’s so simple that I can’t believe that EVERY skin therapist doesn’t have LED in their practice! Blue light excites porphyrins, which are compounds inside of the acne bacteria. This excitement causes the porphyrin to create an oxygen molecule. The Propionibacterium sp. are unable to live in the presence of oxygen, which effectively kills the bacteria from the inside, and the bacteria die off. Pretty simple, eh?


Although both red and infrared wavelengths penetrate to different depths and affect tissues differently, their therapeutic effects are very similar. Visible red light, at a wavelength of 630-660 nanometers (nm – 1 nanometer is equal to one billionth of a meter), penetrates tissue to a depth of about 8-10 mm, which is through the epidermal and dermal layers and into the subcutaneous level. Red LED has an anti-inflammatory effect and stimulates fibroblasts to stimulate collagen and elastin production, as well as stimulating ATP production in our cells. Red LED is very beneficial in treating problems close to the surface of the skin such as wounds, cuts, scars, trigger and acupuncture points and is particularly effective in treating infections. It has been shown to help treat Eczema and Rosacea as well. Infrared light (800-1000nm) penetrates to a depth of about 30-40 mm which makes it more effective in the treatment of joints, deep muscles, strains, sprains, etc.

Celluma combines Blue, Red and Infrared into a powerful device that is extremely useful in your treatment room. When the Blue light is on, there is still a small amount of Red, and an even lesser amount of Infrared, that is emitted. This is one of the features I love most about the Celluma! Think about it – acne lesions are often inflamed, and if we are able to treat the lesion (with Blue) and the inflammation (with Red and Infrared) we are in essence throwing a 1, 2, 3 punch at the acne lesion!

Similarly, when you use the Red, there is a fairly equal amount of Blue and Infrared being emitted. And when you use the Infrared, there is a small amount of Red and a lesser amount Blue being emitted.

You can purchase your Celluma panel HERE!



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